Submissions for the Employment Relations Amendment Bill are open until Friday 30 March 2018. What this means is that you can provide feedback on what the government is proposing to change with regards to employment relations. If you are a business owner with staff then these changes will impact you.
Some of the key proposed changes include:
Rest and meal breaks
- A return to a more prescriptive approach to rest and meal breaks
- Will specify how many 10 minute paid, or 30 minute unpaid breaks an employee is entitled to, and when they are to be taken
90 day trial
- Only businesses with less than 20 staff will be able to use this clause
- Reason(s) for dismissal must be provided
- Disputes are to be heard by a 'referee' and that person's decision is final
- No right of appeal, and no lawyers allowed to be present
- If an employee is found to be unjustifiably dismissed, the primary remedy would be to reinstate the person
Collective bargaining and union rights
There are a number of proposed changes to collective bargaining and union rights, including (but not limited to):
- Restore the duty to conclude bargaining
- Remove an employer's ability to make pay deductions regarding partial strikes
- Restore union ability to initiate collective bargaining before an employer does
- Restore the 30 day rule, covering new employees who are not members of a union
- Restore union access to workplaces without gaining the employer's prior consent
- Provide reasonable paid time to union delegates for union activities
- Requirement for employers to provide unions with information about new staff
The Bill process does take time and it has many stages to pass through. It's estimated that any changes won't come into effect until later this year, or even early next year.
If you have questions about how these changes might affect your business, or if your business would like support in updating your processes and documents to ensure compliance, please don't hesitate to contact us.